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Doctors’ fees squeeze pensioners

Thursday, May 9 2013

THE EDITOR: As a pensioner with a fixed income, I view with trepidation how easily prices of critical goods and services are adjusted upwards without any conscience.

One area that seems to escape official scrutiny is that of professional charges such as legal and medical fees which have risen to obscene levels. Let me give you a recent experience. For a number of years I visited an eye clinic, where I was well treated by a very reputable doctor who served the people with distinction. Most of the people who attended this clinic were pensioners and old people, some who could hardly see.

After many years that goodly doctor has now given up the office apparently not to other doctors, but to a group of “bandits and mercenaries”. I was at home when I got a call from a young lady advising me of a forthcoming appointment and telling me that the fee has now gone up from $200 to $500. I thought I didn’t hear well. So I went to the office on the day of the appointment. I met a group of my fellow pensioners outside the office (some in tears) complaining that they cannot pay $500 since they live on a fixed income and have other medical bills. Some use eye drops that are not on CDAP, which cost about $600 a month. They knew the arithmetic of survival. After getting confirmation in the office about the new fee structure, I left.

I would have to seek attention elsewhere, if there is a reasonable elsewhere. The question remains. If you subtract medical costs from a pension rapidly declining in real value, the pensioner is left to scrunt in a world where there are conscienceless people who would squeeze anybody for an extra penny. But who cares? Why don’t the professional bodies call for a published schedule of medical and legal fees?



AARON BYAM

Arouca

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